Sunday, December 2, 2012

NFL Week 13 Pigskin Predictions

FALCONS over saints
Atlanta finally takes a firm step over its NFC South archrival and predecessor. After losing 11 of its past 13 matchups against the Saints, including Nov. 11 in New Orleans, in one fell swoop the Falcons (10-1) defeat the 2010 Super Bowl champions Thursday night and take a firm step toward claiming its first team title in the franchise’s 46-year existence. In a back-and-forth shootout, the Dirty Birds defeat Drew Brees’ fleet by four and to improve to improve to 11-1 and send the Saints (5-6) playoff hopes out of sight.

Packers WR Greg Jennings

PACK over vikes
As much as I’d love, love, to take my Vikings in this one, I just can’t. The Packers look vulnerable after being obliterated last Sunday in New York. Injuries have hit the Pack so hard, that even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t save them. However, Rodgers gets a familiar friend back this week (top wide-out Greg Jennings, healthy with the fresh scent of Old Spice after missing seven games with a groin injury) and faces a passing-deficient foe that will not be able to keep up with him.  Minnesota, despite another big day from Adrian Peterson, struggles through more poor passes and even poorer drops, loses to its border state rival and loses a crucial game in regard to its playoff potential. Green Bay outlasts the Vikes by six.

PREDICTION: PACKERS 30, vikings 24

jags over BILLS
The Jaguars win back-to-back games? Nooo-ooh! … Yes. Not that Chad Henne’s going to lead Jacksonville to promise land anytime soon, but he may have put an abrupt end to Blaine Gabbert’s disappointing young quarterback career as a Jag a la Colt McCoy in Cleveland. In 25 games, Gabbert, Jacksonville’s 1st round pick (10th overall) in 2011, has thrown just 21 touchdowns (to 17 picks), averaged a mere 155 passing yards per game (including 5.6 yards per attempt) with a 53.8% completion rate. Henne’s no superstar. But the 32-year-old vet’s certainly proving he gives his team far more hope than Gabbert. Connecting for scores with wide-out weapons Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, Henne’s Jaguars (2-9) upset the 4-7 Bills in upstate New York today.

PREDICTION: jaguars 31, BILLS 27

Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
hawks over BEARS
Despite the dominance over the Vikings last week, the Bears appear a bit overrated in my eyes. Seattle, coming off a disappointing performance in Miami last week, returns to its typically stout form today. Marshawn Lynch returns to Beast Mode, shedding off tacklers for 130 yards and a touchdown, as the Seahawks help keep its (and several other teams’) postseason hopes alive with a sterling victory over the Bears in Chicago.

PREDICTION: seahawks 24, BEARS 17

LIONS over colts
As an underdog fan, oh would I like to see the Cols (7-4) make the playoffs. Picture it: Led by rookie QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis rebounds from a 2-14 season, reaches the playoffs, where the team possibly gets paired up to play a first-round matchup against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Oh what drama that would be! … But to do so, the Colts must prove to be a better team on the road. Detroit, coming off a Thanksgiving robbery by Justin Forsett and the Texans, is out to prove its mettle for its devoted home fans today. The Lions top Indy by a ten.

PREDICTION: LIONS 31, colts 21
Texans RB Arian Foster

texans over TITANS
--> Arian Foster distances himself from his AFC rushing title competitors, running roughshot over the Titans as his Texans cruise to an easy 24-point victory in Tennessee


panthers over CHIEFS
Just when you think Kansas City’s season couldn’t get any worse. After a home loss to Denver last Sunday drops them to 1-10, the team experiences a startling tragedy Saturday and has to try to galvanize itself for a noon game today against the Panthers. As much as the Chiefs would love to give its home fans something positive to grab onto today; the lack of talent is one thing, the tragedy is another and too much to overcome this soon. In a game at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium today where the outcome matters very little, Carolina defeats the despondent Chiefs by seven.

PREDICTION: panthers 20, CHIEFS 13

RAMS over niners
Upset city! Yes, I’m taking the Rams today. The Rams … Colin Kaepernick mania has taken top billing over the NFL globe these past couple of weeks. After a throttling of the Bears at home Nov. 19, followed by a convincing win against the then-red-hot Saints in New Orleans, the 25-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin native has suddenly inherited the heart of a stout San Francisco team built for a Super Bowl run. Since taking the reins, Kaepernick had a  11-for-17, 117-yard performance rallying the 49ers to a tie in Week 11, composed a spectacular 133.1 QB rating in a Monday Night matchup against Chicago and engineered a 31-21 victory in a game dubbed as Fox’s national game-of-the-week last Sunday in the Superdome. On top of that, there’s the intrigue with Kaepernick innocently replacing the unflashy-yet-steady Alex Smith at the helm of a team Smith led to a 13-3 record and NFC championship game last season and a 6-2 start to this season. So there’s good reason behind this Kaepernick craze … But the heat gets tempered today in St. Louis. The last time the 4-6-1 Rams were playing on its home turf, the team suffered an embarrassing 14-point defeat at the hands of the woeful New York Jets. While the playoffs are well out of range for St. Louis, the Rams are out for redemption from that Jets loss and from its Week 11 tie with the Niners in San Francisco. Today, Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis leads the team’s D, while Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson pace the O as St. Louis ekes out an exciting upset over Kaepenick’s clan on its Edward Jones Dome floor.

PREDICTION: RAMS 23, 49ers 20

pats over FINS
With touchdowns on its first two drives, the Patriots set the tone for an overwhelming defeat of the Dolphins in south Florida today. Ryan Tannehill, meet Tom Brady. The Sun Life Stadium sprinklers will not be enough for a Miami win today. New England wins big.

PREDICTION: patriots 38, DOLPHINS 17

Jets RB Shonn Greene
JETS over cards
If the Thanksgiving night massacre wasn’t enough for Jets’ fans to stomach, imagine how they’ll feel if third-string QB Ryan Lindley leads struggling Arizona to a win on their team’s home turf … While it’s still a miserable season, Jets fans should not have to face added embarrassment today. A strong rushing performance from Shonn Greene complements another pedantic Mark Sanchez effort as New York manages to stave off a lackluster fight from the Cardinals to “earn” the victory.

PREDICTION: JETS 17, cardinals 10

BRONCOS over bucs
Denver’s favored by nine in this game. It makes sense. Peyton Manning – who’s not only a comeback player of the year frontrunner, but also an MVP candidate – is facing the NFL’s last-ranked pass defense on his home field. But don’t discount the Bucs’ chance at an upset. Rookie Doug Martin has revived a Tampa rushing attack that ranked 30th last season and quarterback Josh Freeman has reprised his 2010 form. In a back-and-forth thriller of a game this afternoon, Manning’s Broncos emerge in overtime.

PREDICTION: BRONCOS 27, buccaneers 24 (in OT)

RAIDERS over browns
Yawn ... Wake me up when it’s over. Someone has to win this battle of 3-8 teams. Oh, the Raiders are playing at home? Sure, why not them then.


Chargers WR Malcom Floyd
CHARGERS over Bengals
Cincinnati’s down three points facing a 4th-and-29 late in the game today at San Diego. What hysterical hilarity would ensue if they reproduced the succession Baltimore’s Ray Rice experienced in the same stadium last Sunday? That would be crazy. If this game is a close as I expect it to be, that same scenario could very well present itself. At 4-7, San Diego is a far cry from the playoffs, but Philip Rivers connects with Malcom Floyd for two touchdowns and his defense holds up enough to avoid a consecutive week of dubious dysfunction as the Bolts beat the Bengals.


RAVENS over steel
The Steelers just aren’t the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger. And with Big Ben (shoulder, ribs) out again, this typically exciting rivalry game will be far from it today.

PREDICTION: RAVENS 23, steelers 10

BOYS over eagles
Philadelphia is on the brink of many things … and none of them are good. Facing its eighth straight loss, the Eagles prepare to wrangle the Cowboys in Big D. While the Boys have been underwhelming at home in recent weeks, Philly simply stinks right now. Dallas should be ready to romp.


giants over SKINS
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks
Is RGIII ready for primetime? The answer is an emphatic, yes. Robert Griffin the third appears to have been born for primetime. And he proved as much with his Thanksgiving feast of Dallas defensive backs 10 days ago. On tap tomorrow is the 7-4 Giants fresh off a dominant Sunday night performance against the Packers last week. This one should be a spectacle. Expect for Griffin to put on a dazzling display for his Redskins fans tomorrow night in DC. However, in what’s sure to be an impressive quarterback showdown, Eli Manning tosses a late-game touchdown to Hakeem Nicks as the Giants emerge with the win in the end.


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